by Anton Shilov
10/16/2008 | 06:34 AM
Foxconn, one of the largest makers of computer components, will cease making Nvidia GeForce-based graphics cards shortly, a source familiar with the plan confirmed on Thursday. The main intrigue is whether Foxconn intends to start producing ATI Radeon-powered graphics cards, or plans to increase its stake in graphics cards suppliers Leadtek Research and PowerColor/Tul so to get more influence on the graphics card market.
Rumours about Nvidia losing add-in-card partners have been around for a while, however, since business-related events are not usually discussed publicly, it was unclear who, among Nvidia-exclusive suppliers of graphics cards, plans to cease making GeForce boards at all and who just plans to add ATI Radeon into the lineup.
According to a market source, Foxconn has finally decided to stop making Nvidia GeForce-based graphics cards due to a plethora of reasons. The orders for ATI Radeon HD 4800-series graphics cards are rising rapidly at the moment, whereas the demand towards Nvidia’s latest offerings is declining. To make the matters worse, Nvidia from time to time undersupplies its partners with certain graphics processing units (GPUs) that are required to successfully compete against rivals. As a result, graphics cards shipments of companies like Foxconn are falling.
Foxconn owns stakes in Leadtek Research, an Nvidia-exclusive graphics cards supplier, as well as PowerColor/Tul Corp., an ATI-exclusive vendor, but the company still has a lot of manufacturing capacities, engineers as well as customers to run its own-brand graphics adapter business. Apart from Nvidia there is only one leading supplier of discrete GPUs: ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices. There is no information whether the deal between Foxconn and ATI has been signed, but it would be logical to expect the former to start making ATI-based graphics cards instead of Nvidia-powered.
Despite of the fact that Foxconn is a large company, its own market share on the market of graphics cards is not large, hence, its potential switch from Nvidia to ATI will hardly affect market shares of both GPU suppliers dramatically.
Foxconn, Nvidia and ATI did not comment on the news-story.